Is sugar really toxic?

The answer to this question seems obvious to me but unfortunately medical/nutritional science has paid little attention to the toxic nature of sugar and so far only looked at it as “empty calories”. The implication to most people is that if you eat too much sugar it can cause you to gain weight but otherwise it is really harmless.

The rationale for the empty calorie theory is that sugar contains no valuable nutrients

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, only calories which no one needs in our day and age. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Sugar is a metabolic poison and this has nothing to do with calories. It disrupts hormones, adversely affects the brain, weakens immunity, and has many more negative effects on health.

To understand why, consider that we all have sugar in our blood in the form of glucose, which is closely regulated by the body because too much or too little of it can have dire consequences and even endanger life. A healthy adult might have a blood sugar of 90 mg/dl, equal to a grand total of one teaspoon of sugar in his or her entire blood stream.

An average soft drink contains over two tablespoons of sugar that when ingested is absorbed and rapidly converted to glucose. Not enough by itself to cause a diabetic coma, but close. The only way for the body to avert such dire consequences (as a coma) is to release large amounts of hormones, including insulin. This in turn disrupts other hormones and neurotransmitters.

A recent New York Times articles brought this topic back to the fore. It can be found here: The article refers to a lecture entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” that was posted on YouTube in 2009 and had 800,000 hits to date. If you still think that sugar is all about “empty calories” I suggest you listen to this lecture.

3 Responses to “Is sugar really toxic?”

  1. I totally agree, it’s important to have this knowledge. But what about different sugars? I mean for ex. brown sugar or maple. You can see they are different (comparision:, and if you really need to use sugar, maybe we should choose the better one?

  2. There is no question that there are better sugars but in no case more than this one it is the dose that makes the poison. Any sugar, even the most natural, will have the effect of disrupting hormones if consumed to excess.

  3. The Gary Taubes article and the Lustig YouTube video (now over 1.5 million views!) started me on a research project. I just finished writing out a summary of that journey (for me it began some 30 years ago):